Remembrance Day was Live-Streamed on Thursday
To commemorate Remembrance Day this year and the 103rd anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War in 1918, the College Community paused to remember all those who have died in war. The College joined via livestream for the Ceremony of Commemoration of the Fallen.
Members of the College Cadet Unit provided the Flag Party as well as an armed Guard around the College Cenotaph, which is inscribed with the names of all of our ‘Old Boys’ who paid the supreme sacrifice in the two World Wars. Congratulations to our Cadets — please see further details later in the newsletter.
I joined this week the Jewish community’s annual ceremony commemorating Kristallnacht, which was held online. Kristallnacht, the the night of broken glass, was a violent rampage against Jewish people and their homes, shops, buildings and synagogues carried out by the Nazi Party along with civilians on the 9 and 10 of November 1938. Historians view Kristallnacht as a prelude to the Final Solution (code name for the murder of all Jews by the Nazis), and the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust.
This year’s commemoration celebrated the life of Eddie Jaku OAM, who died recently. Edward Jaku OAM, was a survivor of several German concentration camps during World War II, who wrote of his wartime experiences after emigrating to Australia. This memoir is called The Happiest Man on Earth and was published when he was 100 years old. Having narrowly survived, he moved to Australia during the 1950s, where he dedicated his life to teaching others about the dangers of intolerance.
His message was: as long as I live, I’ll teach not to hate. Mr Jaku said he was the “happiest man” despite the horrors he witnessed in the concentration camps. “Life is what you want it to be, life is in your hands,” he said.
Catholic Schools NSW has been working closely with NSW Health to lessen the impact of long periods of isolation for students who have been deemed a close contact. Rapid Antigen Testing (RAHT) is being assessed as an additional safety measure in many schools, as an option for families to return their children to school after 7 days of isolation instead of 14.
There are many considerations and RAHT may not be an option in every case; Catholic Schools NSW in consultation with NSW Health will identify when this option will work in a school community. Rapid antigen testing does not replace the PCR test that is still required when students are identified as close contacts. The objective is to keep as many schools open without compromising community safety.
This week we were notified that a small number of Waverley College students have been deemed close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case. The majority of the students are in Year 7 and one Year 11 student. They attended a small party on the weekend in which the person who was a confirmed COVID-19 case, also attended from another school.
With this in mind, it is a timely reminder of the importance of remaining hyper-vigilant about some measures that should be taken, in order to reduce the risk of transmission.
1) Get your son vaccinated
2) Face Masks
Please remember that it is not only a Waverley College policy to be wearing a face mask at all times, but this has also been advised by NSW Health, AIS, CSNSW, and the majority of health professionals as part of a multi-layered approach for schools.
3) Hand Hygiene
It is vital to make sure you are regularly washing your hands, using hand sanitiser, and also wiping down the surfaces you work on, before and after you use them. Our Health Centre is providing hand sanitiser and surface wipes for each classroom.
4) Staying at home when you are sick/sending sick students to the Health Centre
If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath or runny nose, even if these are mild, you should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible. People with mild symptoms can still spread the virus. To help stop the spread of COVID-19, anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms should get tested.
Students commenced the HSC examinations well and there was a tangible sense of “let’s get things done”, determination and calmness within the group. Attendance was excellent and their feedback was that both English papers were fair and straightforward. May that be their experience for the rest of their examinations.
I wish them well after experiencing a most frustrating journey and we are proud of the way they have resolutely set themselves to do their best and complete their Higher School Certificate Examinations.
Mr Brennan and Ms Walsh have written to all parents regarding the postponement of the Graduation ceremony to February next year, which will ensure the most parents, grandparents and students can celebrate this significant achievement.
Parents’ Association AGM
On behalf of the College, I would like to thank all parents who have been involved in the work carried out by the Parents’ Association throughout 2021. Particular thanks to the tireless work of the Year level representatives, past parents representatives, clothing pool representatives, tuckshop volunteers and the executive for all of their organisation, support and efforts in organising events and communicating across our community.
Special thanks to the 2021 Executive: Ms Jade Stapleton (President), Ms Lisa Sullivan-Smith (Vice President), Ms Lamya Sadi (Vice President), Ms Stephanie Van Dam (Secretary) and Ms Deb Johnston (Treasurer). Despite all the challenges of 2021, the Parents’ Association has still been able to contribute significantly to the overall success of the College.
From the recent AGM, I would like to congratulate the following parents on their elections to the Parents’ Association Executive for 2022, and I look forward to working with them in the new year.
- President – Jade Stapleton
- Vice President – Daniella Strbac
- Vice President – Lamya Sadi
- Secretary – Stephanie Van Dam
- Treasurer – Deb Johnson
- Year 5 – Natalea Iskra and Kim Gould Szabo
- Year 6 – Daniella Strbac and Anne Clerc-Johnson
- Year 7 – Claire McGaffney and Eileen Trinca
- Year 8 – Camille Owen
- Year 9 – Tina Lee and Stephanie Schofield
- Year 10 – Tina Lee
- Year 11 – Gloria Reimer, Veronica Green, Lamya Sadi and Amanda Shaw
- Year 12 – Violetta Elliott and Roslyn Diesner
- Past Parents – Donna Drew Morris and Linda McGuiggan
- Clothing Pool – Kirsten Hott and Camille Owen
Old Boy Ned Wieland
In 2017, Ned became the youngest male to swim the English Channel and raised significant funds for the charity RU OK? This Sunday, 14 November, Ned will be attempting to break the record of 60 laps of Bondi Beach — good luck Ned! You can view the full Nurrunga article in the ‘Old Boys Upcoming Events and News’ section, to learn how you can support Ned and RU OK? charity.
Advocate for Children and Young People NSW Survey
Your son would have received an email survey from the Advocate for Children and Young People NSW this week. They are seeking feedback from school-age students so that they can share their views with decision makers across Government. Governments and schools have been trying to embrace ‘student voice’ more and more in their planning. I therefore encourage your son to find a couple of minutes to fill this out and share their perspectives.